De Bruyne ties assist record, City passes 100 goals in EPL
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Kevin De Bruyne scored twice and provided a record-tying assist as Manchester City took its goal tally past 100 with a thumping 5-0 win over already-relegated Norwich on the final day of the Premier League season on Sunday.
By setting up Raheem Sterling for the winger’s 20th league goal, De Bruyne moved to 20 assists for the campaign — equaling the record held by former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry for a single Premier League season.
Gabriel Jesus and Riyad Mahrez also got on the scoresheet in a game that saw veteran playmaker David Silva make his final Premier League appearance for the club. Silva was captain for the occasion.
To round off a good day for Pep Guardiola’s City, Ederson registered a 16th shutout of the campaign to win the Golden Glove award for most clean sheets kept by a goalkeeper.
The game lacked only a goal for Silva — and a crowd to enjoy it — but there will be an opportunity in the Champions League next month, with City playing Real Madrid in the second leg of their last-16 match.
Guardiola was sad no fans were present to see the final Premier League game of perhaps the club’s greatest ever player.
“It was the smallest standing ovation of all time,” Guardiola said, “but he will come back to receive the ovation he deserves.
“I have the feeling that the fans want to do it. What they (the players) have done on the pitch show the gratitude and the honor that he has to have for the incredible 10 years.
“The team wanted to let him feel and say thank you for what he’s done for this club for 10 years.”
Silva said it was an “emotional” day.
“I love them and I am going to miss all of them,” he said.
“I hope we can win the Champions League. It is a pity we have to play with no people but the safety of the people is the most important thing.”
Last-place Norwich, which beat City at home this season, offered little despite a bright opening during which Onel Hernandez had a goal disallowed after a VAR review for a narrow offside.
City took immediate advantage of that reprieve as Sterling led a charge at the other end. The England forward looked to play in Silva, but it was Jesus who poked home from close range in the ensuing scramble.
De Bruyne doubled the lead on the stroke of halftime, the Belgium midfielder showing great footwork outside the box before curling an inch-perfect shot into the top corner.
Silva continued to hunt his goal in the second half and found time and space in the area to turn and shoot but goalkeeper Tim Krul produced a fine one-handed save.
Another chance came just after the hour as De Bruyne broke into the area and slid a cross towards Jesus but Norwich’s Christoph Zimmermann forced it onto the post.
Sterling finally claimed the third 10 minutes from time, taking City’s league goal tally for the season to 100, when he ran on to a delicate through-ball from De Bruyne and slipped it past Krul.
On matching Henry’s record, De Bruyne said: “I have got two more — you guys took two away from me that I am still claiming! So, for me, I was already above (Henry).
“I need my teammates, obviously I am creating for them to score, and I am grateful when they do. It is nice to have (the record) and it is nice to have it with Thierry.”
There was still more to come from City and Mahrez took advantage of poor defending to slot home a fourth. De Bruyne wrapped up the scoring by slamming in a shot off the post in the final seconds.
City ended the campaign with 102 goals and in second place, 18 points behind Liverpool.
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